Spotify Introduces COVID Disclaimer Feature Following Joe Rogan Controversy

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Spotify is rolling out a COVID disclaimer feature after the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan and the podcaster’s thoughts about COVID. It did promise this feature, which is a small blue tab that directs to its COVID information hub, nearly two months ago.

Spotify Posts COVID Disclaimer On Platform After Joe Rogan Scandal

A handful of musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, did take their music off of the platform for airing Joe Rogan’s podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” These musicians said the podcast spreads COVID vaccine misinformation. Joe Rogan on Spotify also came under fire from medical professionals. Those professionals have said that the host repeatedly spreads conspiracy theories about COVID.

Additionally, Spotify also has been under fire for hosting his episodes. But the service did buy exclusive streaming rights to Rogan’s podcast. That deal is reportedly worth at least $200 million. We get more details from NBC News. So, after the scandal, Spotify did promise to add those content advisories. They will be used to connect users with public health resources.

Meanwhile, Rogan did praise the company’s decision. Yet the podcaster defends his booking of controversial guests. “I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan said. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”

Original Plan Had Been To Put Advisories Up In January

Plans initially were to implement the advisories in January. “Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says in a January press release. “To provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time. We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.” 

For Spotify users, the new content advisory is with any podcast episode discussing COVID. When going on the platform, look for a link that directs listeners to Spotify’s COVID-19 Hub. We get more from The Hill. This effort comes after both artists and listeners were critical of letting podcasters use the platform. This disdain did go in the direction of Joe Rogan a lot. Their claim is those podcasters are fueling misinformation about the coronavirus.

“We take this seriously,” Ek said, “and will continue to partner with experts.” Ek also said the platform will invest heavily in “our platform functionality and product capabilities” for creators and listeners. Spotify users will now have this available. They can keep up with the resources available about COVID. That comes with podcasts talking about the coronavirus.